Review Summary: The birth of an empire...
Comprised of three kids raised in South Jamaica, New York, G-Unit has been together since the early childhood years of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. As the group members got older they were known for their rugged and solid mixtapes. Without these mixtapes, Eminem would never be able to hear 50 and we would never be able to hear “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”. After the release of 50 Cent’s Aftermath debut, the first thought on all of Guerilla Unit’s members was to get all of the members to the same level as 50. They then released a series of mixtape such as; “50 Cent is the Future” and “No Mercy, No Fear”. And with the major success of 50 Cent’s debut album, he was able to sign with Interscope Records, who gave him his own record label, G-Unit Records. Just when G-Unit was ready to record their first major label debut, Tony Yayo was arrested gun possession and bail jumping. Still determined to get this album out while 50 was still in the public eye, G-Unit sign Tennessee’s finest, Young Buck, and continued to work on the album. Ten months after the release of “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”, G-Unit released their debut “Beg for Mercy”.
G-Unit’s members each have their own stunning and unique flow. Each song hits you with an amazing style and rhymes, whether it’s your friendly crack dealer down the block 50, the raspy weed smoker Mr. Banks, or Southern pimp Young Buck. When you put them all together you get a star studded lineup of hip-hop artists. I believe that if Yayo didn’t go to prison and Young Buck wasn’t signed to G-Unit, then he would later sign with a southern label and rap over crunk beats and just be another old wash-up southern rapper; but with him rapping over beats by producers like Dre and Hi-Tek, he has big potential. Lloyd Banks also has a lot of potential, his solo song “Smile” is one of the best tracks on the album. I think Lloyd is his best when he talks about love and the game. If he stays on this path and he is provided with good beats, I know he will blow up like 50. 50 didn’t put in his best effort on this album like he did in “Get Rich or Dir Tryin’” but he wasn’t terrible, it’s just that the other two members seemed more motivated than him. Tony Yayo is the worst member of the album. Even though he’s on only on two songs (I Smell P***y and Groupie Love) he just put in average verses about h**s. He’s not terrible, but all the other members are just on another level than him. His attack the mic mentality just doesn’t work right for him, like it has for other rappers such as DMX.
Beg for Mercy’s lyrics aren’t anything new in hip-hop, with lyrics from girls (Wanna Get to Know Ya, Smile, and Groupie Love), representing their coast/group (G-Unit), and to never cross them (G’d Up). For almost all hip-hop artists being too centered on a few things never enter the equation for a good album, and to tell the truth I was just waiting for these lyrics to all come crashing down. However, when that time never occurred, I was just setting there scratching my head, wondering how the hell did they just pull it off? They delivered it with so much style, hunger, and attention that if they were talking about painting their house I would be thrilled to hear it.
Their lyrics and flow make this album good, but the producers make this album great. With notorious producers such as, No I.D., Dr. Dre, and Scott Storch, bump it up the next level, whether it’s the samples from “Scarface” in “My Buddy” or it’s the backup flutes in “Footprints”, you can tell that the producer toke the time and effort to make a incredible line-up of beats for a incredible line-up of young rappers.
My one question about this album is; does every hip-hop group leader sing the hook for every song? No. So, why did 50 do just that? Though, he does deliver some clever and catchy hooks (Gangsta S**t and Beg for Mercy), I wish he could’ve gotten more features to do them (Only Joe in I Wanna Get to Know Ya), or at least let Buck or Banks do more than one. I laughed so hard when I heard the last line of the hook in “I Smell P***y” “Take me to ecstasy/without taking ecstasy”. That gets my vote for stupidest hip-hop lyrics since "Never let me slip/cause if I slip/then I'm slippin” from Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a G Thang”.
The G-Unit empire starts here, each individual member would continue to go platinum on their next album, and this is the album that introduces us to them. It also got us waiting for their solo debuts. “Beg for Mercy” also reinstates that 50 can deliver again, even with the huge hype behind him. Girls, guns, and the game is what’s “Beg for Mercy” is all about, and with G-Unit’s delivery, hunger for fame, and top notch producers make it an album worth entering your collection.